In the late nineties the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) website, ABC Online, was very successful at a time when the ABC experienced severe political hostility and funding reductions. This paper offers case studies of the early implementation of interactive online sites at the ABC to explore an alternative remembering of the ABC. Using the success of ABC Online as a model of how to remember the ABC, one might choose to remember the ABC as dispersed and plural, even rhizomic. Rather than being nostalgic for a unified past or future, we might instead be nostalgic for the diversity, plurality and in-between nature of ABC practices and programming.
Although Australian media consumption follows general Western trends toward increasingly media rich households, there seems to be a distinctly regional response to how media technologies are incorporated into the Australian home. Although a majority of Australian families with children have a second (and many a third) television set, few choose to locate these technologies in children’s bedrooms. Thus, Australia’s high level of screen entertainment media is not associated with a high level of children’s bedroom access, as would generally be expected. When family conflict does arise regarding television viewing, it is just as likely to be about “where to watch” as “what to watch.” Through the use of an audience ethnography approach, this article explores how Australian parents and their children make sense of their television viewing in the home environment, highlighting how new and multiple media technologies are integrated into the spatial geography of the antipodean family home.
This article undertakes an institutionalist analysis of broadcast media policy, analyzing sources of both stability and change over time. It draws attention to the distinctive features of broadcast licenses as a form of soft property and the significance of policy settlements as ways in which regulators in different countries have managed the relationship between private ownership and public interest. It traces the development of broadcast media policy in Australia from the 1950s to the present in this light, arguing that continuities in policy over time that have favored incumbent commercial interests have been the prevailing pattern of policy outcomes. The article concludes by raising issues about whether a social democratic approach to media policy should support the introduction of greater market competition in a multiplatform environment rather than seek to maintain the existing broadcasting order and draws on so-called new public interest literature to make this argument.
This article will argue that despite gaining praise from around the world for its particular form of "public service broadcasting," the British Broadcasting Corporation has proved to be surprisingly poor at reflecting the local, linguistic, racial, cultural, and religious differences throughout the United Kingdom. Tracing its historical development, it will argue that in the past century the British Broadcasting Corporation was responsible for simply producing a form of cultural hegemony that attempted to conceive "Britishness" within an extremely narrow set of conventions, excluding all manner of people and communities in its attempt at "making the nation as one man." In contrast, this article will argue that new cable and satellite channels are now gradually breaking down the very notion of a "unilateral" or "unilingual" voice, eventually providing a "common culture" for those viewers who do not fit easily into any neat definition of British citizenship.
This article examines the whiteness in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The author argues that the show’s overwhelming whiteness is a product of a generalized white anxiety about the numerical loss of white dominance across the United States and, in particular, in California. The article goes on to think through the role that Jewishness plays in the program, discussing the relationship between the apparently Anglo-American Buffy, played by a Jewish actor, and her sidekick, Willow, who is characterized as Jewish but is played by a non-Jewish actor. The evil master in the first series is given Nazi characteristics and the destruction that he wants to inflict carries connotations of the Holocaust. Structurally, Buffy is produced as the Jew who saves the United States from this demonic destruction. In this traumatic renarrativising, the Holocaust comes to stand for the white-experienced crisis of the loss of white supremacy in the United States. With this reading we can begin to understand the show’s popularity among early adult, predominantly white Americans.
This article traces the evolution of what has become known as the business entertainment format on British television. Drawing on interviews with channel controllers, commissioners and producers from across the BBC, Channel 4 and the independent sector this research highlights a number of key individuals who have shaped the development of the business entertainment format and investigates some of the tensions that arise from combining entertainment values with more journalistic or educational approaches to factual television. While much work has looked at docusoaps and reality programming, this area of television output has remained largely unexamined by television scholars. The research argues that as the television industry has itself developed into a business, programme-makers have come to view themselves as [creative] entrepreneurs thus raising the issue of whether the development off-screen of a more commercial, competitive and entrepreneurial TV marketplace has impacted on the way the medium frames its onscreen engagement with business, entrepreneurship, risk and wealth creation.
This article works from the established assumption that narratives produced for local audiences are always going to operate in some relation to established discourses of local or national cultural identities. In the case of Australian television soap opera, this is not in any way a radical assumption, given the format’s routine construction of a recognizable version of the local-everyday as the ground on which its narratives are staged. In this article, the author argues that it is likely, in the case of certain versions of reality TV that draw on the soap opera format for their narrative and formal structures, that reality TV’s representations of the real and the everyday are going to operate similarly—indigenizing even the most international of formats and genres. Thus, the way to examine “the local” in the “global” may well be through mapping processes of appropriation and adaptation rather than through the proposition of any thoroughgoing specificity or uniqueness.
Policy makers face a number of difficulties meeting the traditional cultural and social objectives of broadcasting and film policy development in a rapidly changing digital environment. This new environment requires broadcasting policy and film policy alike to substantially adjust their settings to “speak to” new governmental, industry, and political priorities. Broadcasting and film policy-making frameworks now need to adjust to policy and industry settings stressing the knowledge economy and information society. This both creates a new centrality for audiovisual production as a “content creation” industry and raises new problems for the various local film and television production ecologies (including the cultural policy that has sustained them) that have developed. This article will use Australian developments to suggest ways broadcasting and film policy is both making and not making this adjustment.
Ethnography is coming to be much discussed in education. A definition of ethnography is, however, an elusive and complicated question. Anthropologists do not themselves have a unified conception of ethnography, especially of ethnography in relation to the study of institutions of our own society, such as education. One difficulty with the notion of ethnography is that it may seem to be a residual category, associated with the study of people not ourselves and with the use of methods other than those of experimental design and quantitative measurement. Educational research has been traditionally dominated by these quantitative and experimental conceptions of research. Ethnography, which involves participation and observation, and which is systematic, comprehensive and topic oriented, could provide the opportunity for mutual relation of interaction between ethnographers and sponsors of educational research. With systematic and comprehensive information about the community to be studied in an educational context, ethnographers will be able to test hypotheses in the field of educational research. (Author/GC)
Broadcast television has most often been understood as a site for the narration of unified national identity. But at the same time, it has been associated with the development of diversified cultural citizenship. This article considers some of the issues arising from situations in which cultural identities have clashed with national ones, especially the case of Indigenous issues on Australian television. The evolution of new forms of citizenship is matched by post-broadcast forms of television, in which audiences can be seen as organized around choice, affinity, and the production as well as consumption of media. These developments have powerful implications for the way nations are narrated in broadcast television and for our understanding of how television itself is evolving. The article argues that Indigeneity points the way to new notions of both nation and television.
This research examines how nonprofit organizations perceive and utilize the internet through the framework of Habermas’s theory of the public sphere. In seven focus groups across the country, 52 people responsible for creating internet strategy and/or web content for nonprofit organizations participated. Claims of sweeping improvements in democratic participation through the internet were not supported. Almost no organizations utilized the technology for horizontal or vertical flows of communication, data communality, interactivity, or engaged participation. Furthermore, these nonprofit organizations believed the internet offered little democratizing power but paradoxically provided instant credibility. Those making communication decisions overwhelmingly performed in technical rather than strategic roles as they pushed their message out to the public without any regard to feedback or communication strategy. These individuals also believed the corporate model would drive future internet growth, although they rarely trained internet workers. Possible reasons for these findings and implications for nonprofit organizations are discussed.
This is a transcript of an interview conducted with key contributors to the recently published report Media Piracy in Emerging Economies (Social Science Research Council, 2011). Topics discussed include: the challenges of researching pirate networks at ground level; the politics of comparison in transnational media research; the relations between academic analysis, activism, lobbying and policy; and future directions for the 'copyright wars' debates.
I would argue that the problems that contemporary capitalism gives rise to are not
the result of the classic exercise of power and hegemony characteristic of the
monopoly phase of capitalism but of the “creative destruction” of such a phase.
Schumpeter’s famous phrase is reflective of Lash and Urry’s (1987) notion of “disorganised
capitalism” or of Robert Reich’s (2007) claim that large corporations have
significantly less power now than three decades ago.
The consequence is that there is a need to explore an economic “middle way” in
debates about the narrative of the relationship between culture and economy,
between the Scylla of total explanatory political economy and the Charybdis of
tedium-by-case-study. This involves a Schumpeterian emphasis on entrepreneurial
or enterprise economics (Cunningham, Banks, and Potts 2008). Schumpeter, in
1962, in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, argued that Marx had “no adequate
theory of enterprise” and failed to “distinguish the entrepreneur from the capitalist”
(quoted in McCraw 2007: 349). Schumpeter, his most recent biographer, Thomas
McCraw, “told of capitalism in the way most people experience it: as consumer
desires aroused by endless advertising; as forcible jolts up and down the social pecking
order; as goals reached, shattered, altered, then reached once more as people try,
try again.” He knew that “creative destruction fosters economic growth but also that
it undercuts cherished human values” (p. 6). Schumpeter’s most recent biographer,
Thomas McCraw, says that he elucidated what capitalism “really feels like” (as
quoted in McCraw 2007: 349, 6).
Occasionally, significant events occur after a television show’s production and/or first airing that necessitate changes to the text in reruns, DVDs, and other distribution platforms like Netflix. This phenomenon was on display after 9/11, when shows including 24, Family Guy, Friends, The Simpsons, and others had full episodes and/or specific scenes cut from distribution. This phenomenon demonstrates how television’s popular archive is mutable, popular memory acts as a site of social and political struggle, and production, ancillary markets, official and unofficial distribution, the cultural standing of television and its genres, and other factors interact to determine which aspects of television’s past are available to the public at different moments.
In the following interview Albert Moran discusses his cultural-educational formation in the fields of film and television studies, moving from Dublin, Ireland, to Sydney, Australia, and becoming one of the ‘first wave’ of tertiary education teachers of film and television in Australia. His connection to teriary education institutions in Perth, Western Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Melbourne, Victoria, Sydney, NSW, and Brisbane, Queensland is discused, as is his connection to international dvelopmenst in film and television studies in Canada and the UK. He mentions the many colleagues with whom he has worked and collaborated on research projects, and indicates the critical paradigms that have influenced his various book publications over a period of thirty years.
This article explores the idea of “cozy wholesomeness” in streaming on the Twitch platform through the example of an LGBTQ+ content creator, her partner, and her development of an ongoing domestic space which welcomed queer audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Focusing on a span of streams from November 2020 to January 2021, the article first seeks to define cozy wholesomeness as a streaming process that combines choice of game, style of streaming, and audience interest to form an experience driven by intimacy, sincerity, and active resistance to alt-right mentalities even as the concept itself potentially becomes a product or marketing hook. For this particular streamer, producing a supportive, active chat community driven by cozy wholesomeness inevitably collides with sustaining streaming as a profitable venture—a process compounded by Twitch’s own interest in commoditizing queer content as a way of displaying its own apparent diversity.
Livestreaming during the Covid-19 pandemic has become a staging ground for a kind of virtual socialization that favors gendered and middle class norms of intimacy, affective labor, and domesticity, despite a grave lack of material support for the transition to online learning and working from home. In this paper, I focus on key images and discussions circulating in the press and on social media around the performance and construction of the livestreaming space in relation to virtual learning and remote work among white collar professionals. Livestreaming reshapes domestic life and space through its ability to blur the boundary between home and work and the nascent norms and practices of livestreaming borrow from existing streaming subcultures such as video game streaming on platforms like Twitch.tv. The intimacy of livestreaming, however, is a double-edged sword as it exposes livestreaming’s inability to curtail the worst effects of the pandemic and the disproportionate impact of this vast social rearrangement on women. Livestreaming is easily integrated into existing regimes of control and is the subject of an intense public debate about its politics this very reason.
This article situates Nat King Cole’s NBC experience within those of Hazel Scott and Harry Belafonte, whose own programs bookended the first decade of television. While Scott was blacklisted and her Dumont show canceled, the brief primetime stints of Cole and Belafonte on national network television, reveal a shifting rhetoric surrounding the policing of blackness on TV that focused blame on the South. The South, then, became a convenient rhetorical device in the rejection of Black national television content. This article follows these two parallel yet interlocking threads, with the first section detailing the rise of national television in conversation with the South and the deflection of racism onto the region—an easy representational task amidst news coverage of the civil rights movement. The latter portion of the article follows a genealogy of Black hosted variety programs and Black televisual resistance from Scott to Cole and Belafonte.
The article discusses the social uses of television from the late 1950s to the mid-2000s. In the tradition of media ethnography, it depicts both the structural and the relational uses of television. It looks at changes in watching television in social intercourse: in family viewing and social life outside the home. The primary sources for the study are two collections of written reminiscences about television in Finnish everyday life. The article shows how multidimensional the uses of television have been over the decades and how TV has often played an important role in social life. Looking broadly at the findings, one could say that despite the many technological and cultural changes in television's history, most of the main features of television habits remain. TV is still a social family media.
Recent research has criticized a tradition of seeing socialist media cultures as strictly separated from the West. While scholars have analyzed how socialist television institutions reacted to influences from Western media, there is little research on how socialist television culture traveled outside the socialist bloc. This article analyses the ways in which state socialist television culture appeared in Finland on the basis of the main Finnish TV guide magazine Katso in 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, and 1988. The article argues that socialist television was a significant influence in the Finnish television environment. Finnish audiences were introduced to socialist television cultures through means such as cross-border access to Soviet broadcasts and journalistic depictions. Both public service and commercial television companies imported Eastern European programs of various genres. Thus, the Finnish case shows that a strict East/West binary is not helpful for understanding European television history.
The introduction of cable television in the United States represented an unprecedented opportunity for citizens to exercise media policy-making power but required that they translate general federal guidelines into specific solutions tailored to local conditions. This moment thus provides an example of bottom-up, "vernacular" policy making that challenges top-down approaches to policy. Taking the experience of Madison, Wisconsin, as its case study, this essay explores the processes of local policy translation, including metaphors of outcomes, constructions of community identity and power, and struggles over locally dominant understandings of the community within local political-economic conditions. It also draws conclusions about the conditions within which a media-minded public can emerge and organize itself for reform, the relative power of utopian and dystopian rhetoric in citizen policy making, the conflict between citizen activism and bureaucratic governmentality, and the mechanisms by which citizens might secure policy advantages relative to economically and politically more powerful parties.
TV Globo is the leading television channel in Brazil and is among the biggest television networks in the world. Globo is internationally renowned for its soap operas, but football has also been an important part of its popularity. Domestically, Globo is also known for its ambiguous relationships with the military dictatorships of the 1960s and 1970s, a context highlighted by the controversial telecast of the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. More than four decades later, Brazilians have not forgotten this context, or the controversies raised by the relationship between Globo and the government. This article aims to discuss this subject, trying to better understand the relations between football, television, and political systems.
This article considers Aspen Movie Map (AMM), its visual and textual records, and the sociohistorical context in which the Architecture Machine Group (ArcMac) created them. Rather than focusing on the well-known military provenance of AMM, this article shifts attention to how the work expresses politically specific ideas about the importance of the individual in human-computer interaction and how ArcMac formulated these ideas in response to the discourses of urban crisis and techno-paranoia circulating during the 1970s. The city in crisis provided a convenient metaphor for the staging of ideas about how human-computer interaction could dramatically extend the power of individuals to create and govern their own worlds without the assistance of any intervening social institution or government body.
This article analyzes the role of Spanish television in preparing children and young people for life in a society moving toward democracy after decades of authoritarian rule. The Spanish government, which had exceptional power over TVE, the country’s sole television network, hoped to use this medium to instill democratic values and convey a sense of normality. However, findings show that TVE’s new agenda was hampered by its programming requirements, responsibility as a monopoly to cater to the entire population, failure to understand the preferences and needs of young audiences, and emphasis on U.S. family-oriented series. Children’s and young people’s programming during the transition was a mix of innovative content and reactionary programs typical of the Franco era.
If histories of television recognize it all, the relationship between punk subculture and the mass cultural medium of television is often rendered as a story of misreprentation, conflict, or mutual avoidance. Such studies overlook a rich history of punks throughout North America who produced numerous programs for cable television, especially the non-commercial forum of public access, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Conceiving of TV as a kind of social technology, some punks actively and critically engaged in producing subculture both on and through the medium. This article looks at the case of New Wave Theatre (Theta/KSCI 1979–1983), a Los Angeles–based cable program that featured punk and new-wave bands, performance art, and interviews. It argues that through distinctive performance tactics and production practices, New Wave Theatre developed a form of “subcultural television” rooted in queer “antisociality.”
This article historically examines the boom in US first-run syndication during the 1980s. At this time, Hollywood-based major distributors eagerly entered this market, thanks to regulatory and industrial changes, in an effort to create competing unwired television networks. The article presents a contextual history to describe these changes and uses two sustained case studies—Viacom’s Superboy and Buena Vista TV’s DuckTales—to more closely examine these syndicators. Through these case studies, the article demonstrates the shared industrial strategies of these distributors in exploiting pre-sold brands, globalized labor, and package deals for programing.
In 1991, Sheffield was the host city for the XVI Summer Universiade, better known as the World Student Games (WSG). Studies of the 1991 WSG commonly assert that it received little to no television coverage. This article intervenes to demonstrate that the WSG did receive substantial television coverage on Sky Sports and across the ITV network. The article draws on new archival sources to provide perspectives on the negotiations and interactions between the WSG organizers and the broadcasters, focusing on BSkyB. The article serves as an instrumental case study on how newly available television archival collections can be used to reframe perspectives of television history. In particular, the article considers the early history of Sky Sports, its approach to sports acquisition, its relationship with public service broadcasters, and the impact of satellite television on live-sports coverage and a rapidly changing media landscape in the UK in the early 1990s.
Twenty years on from Television & New Media’s first issue, we find ourselves in an era defined by fracture, anger, anxiety, and nervousness. This short article considers one notable response to this crisis: nostalgia for the 1990s manifesting across a number of cultural fields, including television, music, and celebrity.
This article examines the horror movie industry's mobilization of web content and digital distribution outlets, such as video-on-demand (VOD), and how specific fan practices get encoded into business models shaping web 2.0 strategies. Specifically, it examines the emergence of the multiplatform brand Fearnet, a joint cable channel, website, and VOD service owned by Comcast, Lionsgate, and Sony Pictures Entertainment. It argues that the service, which features horror movies taken from the Sony/MGM library and includes a host of interactive features, not only illustrates the changing impact of new media technologies on film distribution but also the growing industrial utility of VOD services for both cable and film industries. By relying on subcultural practices and discourses specific to horror fandom, digital services like Fearnet act as branded media conduits for the various markets and commerce that sustain niche-oriented categories of horror as a commodified experience.
In 2020, hyperpop artist Ashnikko released a remix of her single “Daisy” with virtual idol Hatsune Miku. While the rights to any commercial use of Miku’s voice and likeness are owned by Crypton Future Media, anyone with Vocaloid software can produce songs for her. While scholars have found that fan-produced performances are foundational to Miku’s development as a performer, less attention has been paid to how intercultural commercial ventures have shaped her identity. This paper employs a textual analysis of the “Daisy 2.0” music video and an observation of comments posted on the video’s YouTube upload to demonstrate how the video’s narrative and its surrounding audience discourse both limit and expand Miku’s cultural signifiers. While fluid approaches to identity afforded by the hyperpop and virtual idol subcultures hold potential to liberate these performers from hegemonic notions of gender and sexuality, cultural and commercial constraints still loom large in these spaces.
In this interview Jon Lewis reflects on his period as editor of Cinema journal and discusses changes in the historical-critical emphases at play in the field of film and media studies as it begins to engage more directly with the claims of television studies and the emerging field of new media studies. He further discusses the shifts he has observed in film and media studies as an area of academic publication, over the course of his academic career, noting the impact of the current context of more limited or competitive publication possibilities on younger academics hoping for a career in the profession. Finally, he discusses his own recent research and publications, and speculates on two further, ongoing areas of research: his work on HUAC, and even more specifically his work on the memoirs of HUAC survivors; and his involvement with research into the place of soccer in US sporting and cultural life.
The article discusses the unique contributions of audiovisual records made by ordinary people during the “June Journeys” protests, which took over the Brazilian streets in June and July 2013. Comparing national TV coverage with the videos made by protestors or by the alternative network Ninja Media, we draw on Jost’s concept of “violent scenes,” on Rancière’s discussion of distribution of the sensible and visibility, as well as Brazilian communication scholarship. We argue that ordinary people’s and Ninja Media’s “violent scenes,” as opposed to the “scenes of violence” shown by the national news, have particularly strong impacts on those who watch them because they spread easily via an engaged, connected audience. At the same time, violent scenes coexist with traditional media narratives, making visible a greater diversity of viewpoints and increasing the likelihood of contradiction.
This content analysis of prime-time news bulletins during India’s election campaign 2014 in seven mainstream TV channels in Hindi and English studied the construction of development, deprivation, inequality, and governance by main political parties and their leaders. The author counters a popular impression that development was a central theme of campaign coverage. The TV channels accorded more importance to star campaigners and to “ticket” distribution rather than to policies concerning development. Sectarian politics and hate speeches invariably got more coverage on TV rather than social sector issues. Hunger, poverty, inequality, discrimination, and displacement were nowhere in the debate. Political parties and politicians, including Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Narendra Modi who got more coverage than all rivals, also avoided defining “development” in precise terms almost as a deliberate choice. Brand Modi seems to have been treated as a proxy for development and good governance. Corruption and inflation came across as non-issues on TV.
This essay introduces the theme of the special issue. While elections across the globe today are mediated in the sense of being pervaded by the ambient presence and explicit deployments of varied media, the Indian national elections of 2014 showcase a specific logic of mediated populism that has become globally influential of late. To understand this logic, we examine the contexts and lineages of the present moment of mediated populism, i.e. the wider political-economic dynamics and contexts that shape and embed the Modi phenomenon. We focus on the changing relationship between privatized media across platforms, political elites and conceptions/productions of “the people” that these particular political historical dynamics have effected and enabled.
This article considers the representation of Irish identity in the media-sport discourse surrounding Euro 2016 in France. The behavior of Irish football fans attracted considerable attention in both the domestic and international media, and they were praised for their friendliness, helpfulness, and goodwill while in France. This media lionization eventually culminated in the Irish fans being awarded (jointly with their Northern Irish neighbors) the Medal of the City of Paris in July 2016. In this article, we examine how fan footage, taken on smartphones and uploaded to the video-hosting site YouTube (mostly by Irish fans themselves), featured centrally in news coverage of the tournament and fed a wider discourse about Irish identity, which relied on longstanding representational tropes. In concluding the article, we reflect on the paratextual significance of Euro 2016 for the Irish football team’s corporate sponsor Three, and more broadly, for Ireland as a nation brand.
In 2017, BBC released a video revealing that Jodie Whittaker would be the actor to play the thirteenth Doctor in the 2018 season of Doctor Who (1963–), the popular BBC television series. The “reveal” that a woman had been cast in the role of the Doctor prompted an overwhelming backlash and fierce online discussion. The same period saw a number of popular films and series cast women as leads. The intense discussion that the reveal generated indicates that televisual representations of gender continue to matter greatly to viewers. The question is how? Fan comments posted below the reveal video on YouTube suggest that viewing publics are less engaged in a controversy over feminism than bewildered by gender categories becoming unstable. Notably, once the series aired, discussion about the Doctor’s gender died down. Seeing the Doctor addressed as “Ma’am,” it turned out, was not what upset viewers.
Drawing on fan studies, sports media studies, media industries studies, and participant observation of the American Outlaws, this essay analyzes specific aspects of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup as televised by Fox Sports in the wider context of soccer’s evolving place within the American sports media marketplace. American media companies have increasingly positioned soccer as an upscale sport in the U.S. In addition to representing an affluent and cosmopolitan taste culture, the representation of the American Outlaws as part of Fox Sports’ programming and branding flattened the frictions of class, national identity, politics, and race that shaped American soccer discourse in the summer of 2019. This essay explores this flattening and the underlying tensions between televising a tournament based in American national identity that allows for a more mass audience appeal and the more niche-based framing of soccer—including the progressive politics of women’s soccer—in U.S. sports media.
This article examines the effects of WhatsApp as a mode of dissemination of political posters. It found that platform affordances that control the crafting and dissemination of political messages open up the possibility of vague political messaging by conforming to the social media’s visual culture and limit the spread of these messages, restricting the ability to organically gather support for a political cause. Despite the growing appeal of social media in political campaigns, social media messages when used by individuals and small, independent social media groups, who are not a part of a larger, organized political party or movement, have little influence on electoral decisions of voters about a political cause that faces weak public support. This was discussed in the context of electoral results of the Leftist political party in India in 2019 national elections. The paper then contributes to our understanding of the extent of the influence of social media platforms on political media messages.
Television & New Media commemorates its 20th year anniversary with this diverse collection of short reflection pieces on the “intellectual and institutional turbulence” facing media studies and the ways our colleagues have taken up these challenges in their work. Our introduction to the anniversary issue specifically addresses the role of media and media studies in the COVID-19 pandemic moment. On the one hand, our discipline has the opportunity to reinforce and reflect on its long-held arguments as we see how the pandemic reveals key insights of the field with uncanny clarity. On the other hand, for some, there is the nagging sensation we will have to do more and better if we are to adequately account for all the features of the current crisis.
This article examines the TV show 24 (2001–2010) and its one-season reboot (2014), tracing how they depict a fictional U.S. government torn between two paradigms of power: one centered on notions of sovereign power and one centered on the improvised, chaotic action of government agents and institutions. Using Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s notion of a “bipolar machine” as its conceptual framework, the article argues that the structure and style of the show can be construed as both a demonstration and critique of an economy poised between legality and transgression, and that the logic of this economy was part of the show’s harshly criticized indulgence in violence and torture. Finally, the article compares the original 24 with its reboot and argues that while the original show was preeminent fictionalization of the Bush Administration’s War on Terror, the rebooted show generates a critical fictionalization of the post-Bush era.